Understanding the Need for Control

A Response to Trauma


Trauma can have a profound effect on our lives. It shapes the way we interact with others and perceive the world. One common reaction to trauma is a need for control. In this blog, we will explore the reasons why the need for control arises as a response to trauma and how understanding it can facilitate our healing.

Grab a cup of coffee and let's explore this fascinating topic together.


The Nature of Trauma

Trauma can take many forms, including abuse, neglect or experiencing an event that is life-threatening. It can make us feel vulnerable and powerless, as it disrupts our sense of safety. Our brains and bodies seek out ways to regain control and security.


Understanding the Need for Control

Our need for control increases when we experience trauma. Most of us likely can relate to this!

We may feel overwhelmed and want to bring order into our lives. This need can manifest itself in many ways, including micromanaging our relationships, our environment, or our own thoughts and feelings.


The Paradox of Control

The need for control may provide temporary relief but it can also present its own challenges. This fixation on controlling others can hinder our ability to trust them and relinquish the control we need.

It can strain our relationships and prevent us fully engaging with the uncertainties of life. Recognizing the paradox is a crucial step in healing.


The Roots of control as a trauma response:

To understand why trauma becomes a control response, we need to explore its roots. Trauma can leave people feeling vulnerable and helpless. We try to protect ourselves by gaining control and creating a sense of safety. It becomes a coping strategy, a way to gain power in a world that is unpredictable.


Healing and Growth

I often say that awareness is the first step in the healing process. Awareness is ninety percent of the solution. Awareness removes the power of the thing we seek to free ourselves from.

Acknowledging the limitations of the need for control allows one to work towards healing and growth. By acknowledging trauma, we can cultivate self-compassion and understand that our need for safety and protection is rooted in the need for control.


Embracing Vulnerability:

Letting go of control doesn't mean surrender to chaos. It means learning to embrace our vulnerability and trusting in our own resilience and intuition. It means accepting that we cannot control the world around us but can control our response to challenges.



The need for control is a deeply ingrained and complex pattern. Understanding the why and how of it can help us embark on a journey of healing and growth.

Let's cultivate self compassion, embrace vulnerability and build meaningful relationship with ourself and others. Healing is a process, and each step we take will bring us closer to reclaiming the life we desire and deserve to have!


I am grateful that you have joined me on this exploration of the need to control as a response to trauma. I trust that this has been helpful to you on your own journey. If you feel so inclined, leave a comment below. I'd love to hear your thoughts on this topic.


Guiding to new discoveries,